Chapter 2 : The Storm

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
Chapter 2 of my book in progress

Submitted: August 24, 2016

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Submitted: August 24, 2016




“Oh wonderful,” thought Hammond, “what have I done this time?”  He set down the book he was reading and reluctantly stood up. He trudged out of his room, past the kitchen and out the front door. Squinting as the sunlight hit his eyes, he turned left and walked toward his caller. Rhythmic clanking met his ears and as he got closer, he felt the warmth of the forge his father was sweating over. “What have I mucked up this time?” Hammond had to shout. His father lifted his bright blue eyes and chuckled heartily. “Yeh done naught wrong my son. I but need yer opinion on one small matter.”  He put down the mallet in his left hand and held up his handiwork in his right. A clean, simple dagger glinted in the sunlight. Hammond couldn’t help but feel impressed, even by such a simply designed blade. The edge was as straight as an arrow. The steel, a dark grey color with a hint of blue that was his father’s signature, shone menacingly. “It’s great father. Another commission from the Garehelms?”  The big man looked rather sheepish and mumbled something of which Hammond only caught “missing finger” and “not really my fault.” He cleared his throat and said much louder “Eh, no. This here blade is fer yer sister.” Hammond’s eyebrows shot up.

 “You made that for Ki? You remember she is only 10 years old?” he said very seriously.

“How senile do yeh think I am boy? O’course I know how old my little girl is!” said Halvar, indigently.

“Well…why do you think she needs a blade?” asked Hammond, his arms now crossed.

“Protection o’course.” Halvar said so plainly, you would have thought this information was taught to all from birth.

Hammond looked around him at the sleepy village. Chickens clucked on the dirt road, a large shaggy dog dozed on the porch of the inn, old man Abramson was sat whittling in front of his quaint cottage. He caught Hammond’s eye and smiled a toothless grin. Hammond repaid the greeting then turned back to face his father with a very pointed expression.

“Gods, son. Would yeh quit looking at me tha way? Tha’s exactly the look yer mother’d give me whenever I’d offer help with dinner.”
Hammond cringed, remembering the day they all learned how little skill this blacksmith has with food. Then he chuckled and said, “I still remember the smell of that horribly burnt mutton. It didn’t leave the house for 3 days.”

Halvar chuckled deeply from his stomach, his eyes smiling enough to make up for the beam hidden behind his beard. “Ay,” he almost sighed, “yer mother did not let me live tha down.” His eyes sparkled with the unique mixture of sadness and joy one gets recalling memories of someone they’ve loved and lost. Hammond recognized this expression. His father often brought up recollections of his late wife, refusing to let her presence diminish in the slightest. Halvar met his son’s contemplation and he said in a soft voice, “I can’t lose her. When I lost yer mother, it seemed that part o’ my world had crumbled right from under my feet.”

Tears stung Hammond’s eyes. He looked down as his father said in a slightly shaky voice, “She’s her mother’s exact little copy, I swear it. More beautiful and sharper than tha finest blade money could get yeh.”

“I know Pa.” Hammond said, meeting his father’s tearstained face.

That was all the needed to be said between a man and his son when remembering the wife and mother they both missed so profoundly.

“Oh!” exclaimed Halvar, startling Hammond from his dreamy nostalgia. He didn’t realize the droplets that had begun falling from the sky.

“I almost forgot somethin’.” Hammond watched the man’s big frame delicately shift tools and materials around, muttering under his breath.

A distant shout made Hammond turn and eye the street around him. The rain was falling at a steady pace now. Old man Abramson had gone from his porch. The chickens had retreated to their coop behind the Bjorkman’s cottage. The dog was now standing and looking toward the village gate. Its ears were perked and it stood stock still, as if listening.

Hammond narrowed his eyes and followed the dog’s intent stare. He thought he spotted movement in the distant trees.

“Boy?” Hammond blinked and turned his head to face his father, whose hand was gently gripping his son’s shoulder. His eyes had a searching look.

“I thought I saw something.” Hammond said softly.

“It was probably just a deer.” Halvar said with forced calm, but his face was suddenly taught with worry. His eyes darted behind Hammond, to the forest. Hammond felt the grip on his shoulder become a little tighter.

Deep, rolling thunder sounded very distantly as the rain picked up still. The air was thick with energy. Halvar’s hand fell from Hammond’s shoulder and hovered over where his sword would usually be at his hip.

“Go inside and fetch my sword.” he said, his voice stern. Without a word or response from his son, he set off toward the gate, his great shoulders tight. Hammond watched him go with an odd feeling building in his stomach.

The shopkeeper, Holt appeared from his darkened shop and hurried over to Halvar. The two seemed to be speaking very quickly. Halvar pointed toward the forest, then they both glanced at where the boy had been standing in the downpour moments before.

© Copyright 2018 liz pourroy. All rights reserved.

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